On 24 September, AIGHD and JLI jointly organized a workshop with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department of Social Development) on the Joep Lange Chairs and Fellows program. The purpose of the workshop was to explore ways how AIGHD could potentially function as a knowledge institute that provides evidence-based input to the development of MoFAs policy areas.
The 3-hour workshop programme contained a summary of the work carried out under the JLC program by the first two chairs, Prof. Dan Ariely and Prof. Mark Dybul, followed by presentations by Prof. Anna Vassall and Prof. Catherine Kyobutungi, as well as an overview of the MoFA’s global health policy areas by the Deputy Head of the Health & Aids Division Marja Esveld. The workshop was attended by representatives from AIGHD, JLI and the MoFA.
The lively discussion following the presentations resulted in a concrete search for collaboration not only asking how can AIGHD’s research contribute to the development of evidence-based policy making but also how can policy questions best be translated into relevant research? MoFA showed a clear interest in health economics/health financing, reducing health inequities, and the social science research related to access to care. In addition, they welcomed AIGHDs expertise in measuring effectiveness, increasing efficiencies and better use of data in their current but also future programs and policy areas. Concrete outcomes are:
- Interdisciplinary sessions in which AIGHD researchers and MoFA staff from different disciplines and expertise come together and discuss specific/demarcated policy topics.
- In-depth sessions with MoFAs field experts stationed at the Dutch Embassies in relevant countries.
- Continued discussions on how the Netherlands can provide data-driven recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria.
Further designing these sessions and ensuring favorable outcomes for the next phase of the JLC&F program is now our priority.